For Poppy

Yes, I know sixteen years is a long time, especially in doggie years. Our sweet Poppy girl, always my shadow. You never missed the chance for just one more treat. And I was always a sucker.

I was not prepared for the grief of losing you. It held tight on your last day with us. Leaving me barely able to breathe, unable to hold back tears.

I keep looking for you around the house. Glancing where your bed should be. Death is a part of all life. Causing an emptiness in spaces and hearts.

In the Sun

Wet nose
Wagging tail
Flipped-back ear
Now held in
Memories
And photos-
Your once
Brown spots
Long-since
Turned gray
Eighty
In our years
You lived
A long life
Especially
For a runt-
Grateful
For our time
Spent sitting
In the sun

I don’t typically post twice in one day, but I could not let the year pass without sharing about our sweet Poppy girl. We miss her so…

Waiting for Silent Night

The ground weeps
This morning
Unable
To hold back
The tears
Soaked into
Its roots
From those
Crying above
Hearts
Once light
Now heavy
With worries
Witnesses to
Devastation
Prevailing wind
Moves across
The land
Initially
Unsuccessful
In drying
Their tears
And yet, not
Deterred
I feel it
Right now
Gently caressing
My face
As it whispers
Let your tears
Mingle with
The suffering
Watering
Seeds of hope
Waiting
For Silent Night

Silent Night~Kelley Morris, piano

Natural Progression

Clinging

The day
Left me
Deep
In thought
A day
Covered
In warm
Sunlight
And falling
Leaves
Sweet life in
Your small hand
Holding mine
As we walked across
Yellowing grass
Rosy cheeks
Squinting eyes
As you reached up
For me to lift you
As you reached up
And touched
The red leaves
Clinging
To the tree
A day
Covered
In life
While also
Holding space
For death-
I am left
Thankful
Clinging
To rest

A Warm Blanket

Just like that
The red leaves
Greeting me
With a smile
Every day for weeks
Fell to the ground
Their days of
Waving
In the wind
Left behind
A few remain
But if I asked
I’m sure they
Would admit
Being ready
To let go
And join
The others-
Though I knew
The day was
Approaching
That red blanket
Was a surprise
I felt sad
For a moment
Until I imagined
The warm grass
Underneath

Precious Boy

Nothing compares with the contagious laughter of a child. The kind that brings tears because it can’t be stopped. One of my first-grade friends recently demonstrated this phenomenon.

He is always smiling. When I see him in the hallway, in the music room, getting in the car with his mom to go home. Such a sweet boy.

Those with an honest laugh also have a sincere cry…

Today in music class, students sang a song about Thanksgiving. I then asked, What are you thankful for? Such sweet answers. My family, friends, brother, sister, grandma, and on and on. Almost all of them mentioned a family member.

This friend was no exception. He said he was thankful for his mom. I immediately pictured him running to his car every afternoon. Always wearing that big smile.

We ended class by watching and listening to a song about Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t say it is a sad song, but sweet. When the song ended, I teased the class.

You guys haven’t asked me what I’m thankful for!

What are you thankful for, Mrs. Morris?

You guys!

I followed this with a comment about their sweet smiles. And then I mentioned my one friend’s contagious smile and laugh. It was time to line up. I noticed he had a funny look on his face, eyes downcast. So, I asked what was wrong.

Tears began to flow. While the others lined up, I knelt to talk with him.

My sister died. When she was little.

Oh, honey, I am so sorry.

I told him how special it was that he remembered her in his heart.

Precious boy. I will not soon forget his laughter or his tears. ❤️

Left Walking

Walking
Hand in hand
First day
To last
One often
Seen as
Enemy
Of the other
Giver vs. taker-
Picture them
Working
Together
One aiding
The body
Along its path
The other
Waiting
To embrace
Spirit, once
The temporary
Gives out
Death
A part of
Life
Not determiner
Of its end-
This journey
Shares its
Insight-
Those
Left walking
Walk with broken hearts

Thinking of all those grieving the loss of someone close.

Eventually

Approaching
Resonance
Can’t quite
Hear it
With
My ears
But I feel it
In my bones
A slight ache
Hint of what
Approaches
Do I stop
Hibernate
Until it passes?
Or attempt
To outrun?
Perhaps
I will
Simply
Slip-on
My favorite
Sweater
Continue
Placing
One foot
In front of
The other
Unafraid
Believing
When winter
Eventually
Catches up-
I’ll be ready

Surrounding Skies

Heaviness
Lingers
In the quiet
Struggles
Of others
On this cold
Fall morning
Though
Not mine
Fragments
Of their pain
Filter thru
My thoughts
The sky
Is clear
And blue
From my
Vantage
While clouds
Of grief and
Sadness fill
Surrounding
Skies
Needing
To release
Waiting for
Assurance
That it is ok
For the rain
To fall
Even on
The clearest
Of days

No Increase

Why are we
In such a hurry?

Wishing
Our days
Away
As children
In a hurry
To grow up
As students
Hurrying
To finish first
As young adults
To get married
Start a family
Realizing
Our foolishness
At the moment
We wish
Time would
Slow down
Our children
To remain little
A bit longer
Our parents
To age
A bit slower
Ourselves
To breathe in
Each moment
Accepting that
Our hurrying
Offers no increase

Heavy Hearts

Your sweet smile
Gives no hint
Of the hurt
In your heart
They say children are resilient
That may
Be true
But a heart
Can only hold
So much pain-
When loss and
Instability
Frame each day
The future
Will not go
Untouched-
Not to say
There is no hope
Only that there are
No easy answers
Except for the ability
To always return
Your sweet smile

Each time I learn about another student facing traumatic circumstances, my heart grows heavy. Here they are, at school, trying to function. And quite often with a smile.

I am also reminded to stop and listen. Be patient and not too quick to judge behaviors. Seek out helpful information. Find ways to encourage.

Not that I am always successful. Honestly, my patience level today was low. But tomorrow is a new day. Another chance to observe, listen and love.

Autumn Travels

Unable to see it directly
As I drive toward the east
Only a quick glance
In the rearview
Assures its
Appearance
Eyes back on the road
Lavenders
And pinks
Soon fill the sky
In my periphery
Both to the north
And to the south
Gradually blending
With the darkening
Indigo up ahead
Although unable
To see it directly
For a few moments
Sunset surrounds me
Sharing its splendor
Carrying me
Into the night
Leaving me ready
For peaceful rest